Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

RIA Novosti-Ukraine's actions are high treason - prosecutor general

Ukrainian national security service armed agents. File Moscow Vows Reciprocal Response to Kiev's Moves on RIA Novosti Ukraine
Patty Aguilar | 16 May, 2018, 06:57

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir on May 15 raised concerns over reports of searches carried out at the Kyiv office of the RIA Novosti Ukraine news agency.

The Ukrainian authorities started the transfer of head of RIA Novosti Ukraine news portal Kirill Vyshinsky from Kiev to the city of Kherson to select a preventive measure, Vyshinsky's lawyer told Sputnik.

Moscow has been accused of fuelling a rebel conflict in eastern Ukraine that broke out after the annexation of Crimea that has cost the lives of some 10,000 people.

"Today we can say that he received 53,000 a month for such activities", said Kononenko. Russian Federation immediately condemned the searches and detention of Vyshynsky.

"If these actions of the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies are somehow related to the work of these media, they are absolutely outrageous and blatant [and] violate all norms and rules", Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman added she would use the same tone and language as her United States colleagues if any media outlet, designated as a foreign agent in Russia, is searched.

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He warned that Moscow could take measures in response, saying the Kremlin "will vigorously defend the interests of Russian media to the fullest extent".

"Let me address my Department of State Colleagues: instead of being lenient to the Ukrainian government, which had lost any idea of human rights, demand the release of journalists in the same strict tone that you use to reproach anyone else", she said.

"Lavrov said it was "far from the first time" that the Ukrainian authorities have "restricted the activities" of Russian journalists in Ukraine".

According to the SBU, RIA Novosti and RT share the same offices in the centre of Kiev. Some of them are responsible for transmitting information to its headquarters in Moscow while others, led by Vyshynsky, are in charge of the ria.com.ua website for the Ukrainian audience.

Ukraine ranks 101st out of 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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